By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released a comprehensive guideline to access its healthcare research and development (R&D) grant.
In a notice, the central bank said the scheme will be funded from the Developmental Component of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF), while researchers who need funds for research activities can only get a maximum of N50 million.
The banking industry regulator also said researchers who need funding support for development/manufacturing activities will be allowed to take a maximum of N500 million, emphasising that the disbursement under the scheme would be made to beneficiaries in tranches subject to approved milestones achieved.
Furthermore, it said funds released for research activities will have a timeframe of not more than two years from the date of release, while for development/manufacturing activities will be given not more than one year from the date of release of the fund to complete their projects.
It said applicant(s) would be required to submit an application, with relevant documentation of validation from relevant health authorities, trial results, patent registration details (if any) and development timetable to the Body of Experts (BoE).
The CBN noted that this BoE will evaluate applications and recommend to the CBN, which will review for documentation adequacy and completeness.
“Upon approval, the approved grant sum shall be released to the applicant’s account with any PFI of his/her choice [and] the beneficiary shall submit a periodic progress report on the project to the CBN,” the bank said.
It further stressed that “the CBN shall have the proprietary right over all the financed R&D outcomes or products.
“Equally, licensing protocol for the mass manufacturing of developed drugs, phytomedicines and vaccines shall be defined by the BoE in accordance with the World Health Organisation’s current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP).”
The central bank stated that activities eligible for consideration under the initiative include research and development of candidate drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines validated by relevant health authorities for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
In addition, activities eligible for the grant are “manufacturing of drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines validated by relevant health authorities for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases;
“Red biotechnological R&D in new health technology for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases;
“Research partnership between academia and industry into the development of drugs and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases; and
“Research and development into validated phytomedicines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.”
The CBN emphasised that “candidate vaccines undergoing pre-clinical testing or trials shall not be eligible for consideration under this scheme.”
View the full guidelines HERE
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